Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A federal jury in Columbia convicted double-murderer Brett Parker, his father Jack, and another man, Doug Taylor, in a federal gambling case.
The jury's decision against the three came down Wednesday after about five hours of deliberation.
Prosecutors had said Brett Parker, Jack Parker, and Doug Taylor operated a gambling ring. During the trial, jurors heard witnesses who say they placed bets with the men.
Prosecutors had the burden of proving two things: first, that five people were part of the ring, and second, that the business took in at least $2,000 on a single day or that it operated for 30 consecutive days.
"In a federal gambling case, it's not the gambling itself but the number of people that makes it federal," said Josh Kendrick, who represented Jack Parker. "So, where an operation where four people were involved would not be a violation of federal law, five people would."
Prosecutors feel they proved not just five, but eight people were inolved in the ring. In addition to the core four, the three charged and Brett Parker's deceased collegue Bryan Capnerhurst, prosecutors belived Tammy Parker, Brett's deceased wife, was also an active part of the ring.
They also argued three men who received lay-off bets from Brett Parker were a part of the business. A lay-off bet is made when one bookie bets with another bookie to even out the odds and make sure they're not risking too much money.
"We thought Tammy Parker's inolvement, though much less invovled, was sufficient," said Assistant US Attorney Winston Holliday. "Then evidence was developed on the laying off of bets and we thought the three names we put in front of the jury were very good. It's always hard to predict what a jury will do, but I would imagine and it would seem from questions, their decision was based on the lay off bet."
As a result of the guilty verdict, Jack Parker will have to forfeit a certificate of deposit for $67,302.50 to the federal government. The feds were also going to require Parker to forfeit his home; however, they eliminated that part of the forfeiture late Wednesday.
Brett Parker is already in prison after being convicted of killing his wife, Tammy Parker, and his business partner, Bryan Capnerhurst.